Puyallup, WA Hot-Rodded PL-380 Shootout
With fellow DXing fanatic Guy Atkins also living in the small city of Puyallup, WA, we probably have more weird technical projects per capita than any place on the planet. Guy is mostly involved in Perseus-SDR DXing and state-of-the-art antenna experimentation (for weak-signal TP chasing), but we are both creative enough to inspire each other in weird new technical directions.
Guy recently designed his outstanding !8' Stormwise ferrite bar Tecsun PL-380 model http://www.mediafire.com/?imykf4ndnnj, and on this sunny Mother's Day in Puyallup, was eager for what would perhaps be the Mother of all Shootouts-- a fight to the finish with my own 7.5" Amidon loopstick PL-380 http://www.mediafire.com/?ntwyin0bm2y . Feeling seriously outgunned, I decided to bring along a 36" portable PVC Loop to our local Wildwood Park, to show Guy that this lightweight, collapsible monster could make up the difference in DXing levels http://www.mediafire.com/?2m0n2ojb2yd . Guy was kind enough to take a photo in front of this 36" portable DXing loop http://www.mediafire.com/?uy0mwyjjydi , which managed to "clean up" chasing Kiwis at Grayland last August 8th.
Guy pulled out his 18" Stormwise PL-380 at Wildwood Park, and I knew I was in trouble http://www.mediafire.com/file/w0gjm1fzo4m/Stormwise-Shootout-004.jpg . My own 7.5" loopstick PL-380 seemed pretty modest compared to Guy's monster http://www.mediafire.com/?mo0gjynwjzf , so I proceeded to test out the fringe stations with trepidation.
As expected, the 18" Stormwise PL-380 had a clear advantage in signal quality over the 7.5" Amidon PL-380 during the reception of various fringe stations, averaging about 4 dB in superior S/N readings across the band. His newly-created PL-380 hotrod is the most sensitive stand-alone AM-DXing portable I have ever tested (as well as the most elongated). Guy should have some serious fun with this modified PL-380 during his upcoming Oregon DXpedition!
The 36" portable PVC loop was also a clear winner, however. Both Guy and I were very impressed with the loop's ability to boost almost inaudible DX signals up to booming levels, averaging about 15- 20 db across the band. The moral of the story is perhaps that both in ferrite loopsticks and air core loops, size really does matter :-)
73, Gary DeBock (in Puyallup, WA, USA)